Trends

Community News

Record keeping for small businesses

The mindset and behaviors associated with protecting intellectual property start with top management. It's a tough job considering the not-so-surprising latitude for departing employees to take corporate trade secrets with them. The Boston Business Journal reports that even with strict vendor confidentiality agreements, keeping corporate secrets may be difficult. Identifying intellectual property at early stages is a good start."Almost all intellectual property starts out as a trade secret. In a lot of ways, that's the point where it's most vulnerable," James Donnelly Jr.
Practice Management

Customer service takes a turn back to low-tech solutions

Businesses can save money with automated phone systems and online help centers, but what is the cost in terms of customer aggravation?Business owners may want to rethink their machines, with their endless lists of options, when they consider the case of online movie rental company Netflix, along with the "get human" consumer movement.Netflix has decided that offering real customer service - with real people at the end of the phone line - is a viable business option.
Practice

How to Make Collections & Cash Flow More Timely

Outstanding invoices are the scourge of every small business owner, and are even more troubling for accountants who are always pressing their clients to monitor their receivables. Many firm owners don’t want to spend their time and energy on phone calls and e-mails to customers about payment, but some steps can be taken before an invoice is overdue that can lead to effective collections. Accounting software products such as Intuit's Quickbooks Billing Solutions offer efficient and effective invoicing tools.
Practice

5 Start-Up Mistakes Entrepreneurs Should Avoid

According to the Small Business Administration, one-third of small businesses fail in the first two years and one-half fail within the first five years, statistics that might discourage even the most determined potential entrepreneurs from trying to realize their business dreams. But avoiding the five most serious mistakes entrepreneurs can make in the startup phase can go a long way towards helping them achieve success, CNNMoney reports.The most deadly errors small business owners make in their first year are:1.
A&A

Fewer Healthcare Insurance Choices for Self-employed

Fewer than one-quarter of professional and small business associations still offer basic health care plans, long the choice of self-employed professionals, contractors and freelancers, according to the American Society of Association Executives, the Los Angeles Times reports. Many, including the American Bar Association, which dropped its health care benefit last year, say they would like to offer these plans and may resurrect them.
Community News

BMC Creates Senior Living Consulting Group

Beard Miller Company LLP (bmc), a nationally ranked U.S. Top 40 regional accounting and consulting firm, has announced the creation of its new Senior Living Services Consulting Group. The group, based in our Harrisburg, Pa. office, was formerly a segment of KPMG LLP’s national Advisory practice.The Senior Living Services Consulting Group will perform operational assessments, clinical consulting, Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement, compliance, and revenue cycle services to senior living providers nationwide.
Tax

Justice Dept. Levies $75M Tax Shelter Fine

The Justice Department last week announced that, as part of an agreement with the Texas-based law firm, Jenkens & Gilchrist, it will not seek a criminal indictment of the firm for its involvement in the creation and sale of aggressive tax shelters and that the firm will pay a fine of $75 million to the Internal Revenue Service.One former partner in Jenkens & Gilchrist’s Chicago office, Paul Daugerdas, earned $93 million in fees from tax shelter work, making him one of the single wealthiest participants in the tax shelter business, according to the New York Times.Jenkens & Gilchrist, wh
Tax

Benefits, Dangers of Paying Taxes with Credit Card

Individuals and businesses may choose to pay taxes with one of the major credit cards through service providers that have contracts with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and earn miles, points, rewards or money back from the credit card issuer. For taxpayers whose returns contain an unpleasant surprise, the credit card option allows some time to pull together the cash he needs to pay the tax bill.But preparers should warn their clients that interest on credit card balances is generally higher than interest paid to the IRS on underpayment of taxes (currently 8 percent).
Community News

Massachusetts Extends Deadline for Expanded Health Coverage

Massachusetts, one of the first states to pass a universal health insurance law, requires all residents, including uninsured adults, to purchase some kind of health insurance policy by July 1, 2007 or face a fine; but businesses and individuals will be given until January 1, 2009 to sign on for what the state considers a “minimum standard of care,” the Associated Press reports. The additional time was needed to allow employers, workers and insurers to make the transition to the new standards, which will include prescription drug coverage.
Workplace Fitness

5 Signs of An Unhealthy Workaholic

A growing number of highly paid professionals are endangering their health by logging more than 60 hours per week, traveling regularly and responding to clients 24 hours a day.

FDIC Chair Calls Wal-Mart's Bank Retreat 'Wise'

Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) chairman Sheila Bair said Wal-Mart Stores Inc. made a "wise choice" in withdrawing its 2005 application to operate an industrial loan corporation (ILC), a form of bank, from the FDIC.Wal-Mart the application was surrounded by "manufactured controversy" over its bid to acquire its own bank, bizjournals.com reported. "This decision will remove the controversy surrounding their intentions," Bair said. "They don't need an ILC to play an important role in expanding access to financial services, they can do so by partnering with banks and others.
A&A

Tax Gap Solutions Burden Small Businesses

Proposals recently issued by the Treasury Department to close the tax gap, which focus on small businesses and the self-employed, would generate only $2.9 billion in revenue, one percent of the estimated total, while they would increase the paperwork requirements on small businesses, and even turn them into tax collectors, bizjournals.com reports. “That’s 1 cent on the dollar,” Senator Max Baucus, (D – Mont.) told Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson.

Former SEC Officials See Changes Ahead for FASB

If, at some point in the future, U.S. companies adopt international financial reporting standards (IFRS) in place of U.S. generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) as Donald Nicolaisen, former chief accountant at the Securities and Exchange Commission recommended last week at the SEC roundtable, the future standards setting role of the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) may be substantially changed, according to a comment in CFO.com.
Tax

Avoiding a Tax Bite on Inherited IRAs and 401(k)s

Like life insurance, beneficiaries of individual retirement accounts (IRAs) and workplace accounts (401k, 403b and 457 plans) inherit the proceeds directly without having to go through probate court. And IRAs and 401(k)s have become popular in many estate plans in recent years because they are not subject to probate costs. But unlike life insurance, inherited tax-deferred accounts can trigger a big tax bill for beneficiaries if they transfer the funds to their banks before they talk to their accountants or financial advisers, SFGate.com reports.
Tax

Hybrid Car Credits Running on Empty

With Honda reportedly close to selling its 60,000th hybrid car, the credits for purchasing Honda hybrids could soon be cut in half.If Honda hits the IRS threshold before the end of March, the credit will be cut in half beginning July 1, 2007. If it hits the threshold in April, May, or June, the credit will be cut in half beginning October 1, 2007.The credits for purchasing Toyota and Lexus hybrids already have been reduced by half and will be halved again beginning April 1, 2007.
A&A

Appearance Counts for Successful Start-ups

A new, three-year study of 830 Americans actively involved in starting small businesses has found that the participants who were successful shared the ability to make their businesses appear legitimate and fully operational early in the startup process.
Community News

IRS: Preparers Miss 4.8 Million Phone Refunds

The Internal Revenue Service reports more than 10 million early filers did not request the one-time telephone excise tax refund. And nearly half of those returns — more than 4.8 million — were completed by a tax preparer.In the first release of this year’s weekly filing season statistics, about 30 percent of all taxpayers did not request the telephone tax refund.“Many taxpayers are overlooking this special refund and the chance to get a bigger refund,” IRS Commissioner Mark W. Everson told IRS e-News for Tax Professionals.
A&A

Online Posting of Delinquents Creates Revenue

Pennsylvania has recently joined the 20 states and the District of Columbia in posting the names of individuals and businesses who owe taxes on their web sites, using names such as Maryland’s “Caught in the Web,” or South Carolina’s “Debtor’s Corner,” to bring pressure on tax scofflaws.In many cases, the threat of disclosure is enough to persuade taxpayers to pay, says Illinois Revenue Director Brian Hamer.
Tax

GAO: IRS Needs Modernization Program Strategy

The Government Accounting Office (GAO) reported to Congress last week on the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) progress in implementing its ongoing Business Systems Modernization (BSM) program. While the IRS has made advances in improving its modernization management controls, the GAO report said, two key projects experienced significant cost overruns and “more work remains to be done to fully develop a long-term vision and strategy for completing the BSM program.” The administration has proposed increasing BSM funding by 43 percent for 2008.
A&A

Small Business Tax Breaks Included In Minimum Wage Bill

The U.S. House of Representatives agreed on Friday to attach $1.3 billion in tax breaks for small businesses to legislation that would raise the federal minimum wage from $5.15 to $7.25 an hour over two years.

Pages


Already a member? log in here.